Cruising the Manifold. Disoriented.

A spoken word performance set to backdrop depictions of queer spaces.

A machine learning algorithm trained to a pre-made image database was set to generate depictions of physical spaces from a simplified textual description. Instead of pointing to the algorithm’s inability to produce a persuasive representation due to data bias, this inability acts as an opening that allows for the described spaces to remain fluid – unfixed by the petrifying forces of the pink market that envision them as simplified commodities wrapped in glitter.

Bodies marked by a difference are compelled to search for spaces of freedom and intimacy away from the dominant gaze. Historically these spaces were often parks, beaches and public bathhouses. But ever since the post-Stonewall commodification of sexual identities in which we got recognized as a plethora of LGBTQ target groups on the pink market – leading to the emergence and proliferation of dating apps – these public spaces progressively deterritorialized into the private sphere, rendering queer encounters even more precarious.

Encounters are queered when one comes in contact with (an)other in a moment of touch past the normative. In this performance, accounts of searching for such encounters through personal trips to a park, a beach and a darkroom are shaped into poetry by meditating on sensing, (re)orientating and navigating in these unstable landscapes which take form in painting-like, blurry and almost indistinguishable depictions produced by a text to image algorithm.

It is getting late and dark in the tear garden.
There is a man standing next to the roses.

Opposing me. Faceless. He is bigger than me.

I nod in approval and we get lost in the shrub on the left.

Sensing his touch firm and I enjoy his belly pressing upon mine with hairs warmly swirling. Spiking. Heating.

Strong smell sweeps me under the knees and I let myself be caught in the
squeeze embrace of his werewolf arms.

Under this fuzz a swallowing kiss devaurs.

This project was developed as part of the Summer Sessions Network for Talent Development in a co-production of Metamedia and V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media.

photo documentation: Magdalena Orellana